The Four Seasons in Limassol, Cyprus has been open since 1993 and is independently owned and operated by Muskita Hotels Ltd. It’s a Five Star deluxe property with 304 rooms, 6 restaurants, 4 bars, and extensive conference facilities, Shiseido Spa, a full range of sports and fitness facilities and a shopping area with exclusive boutiques, watches and jewelry. The Hotel is situated on its own sandy beach, which has been awarded with the Blue Flag (a symbol of cleanliness and safety awarded by the European Community) and is 8 kilometers East of Limassol city center.
The Four Seasons’ management is constantly looking for effective ways to build strong relations with its customers and optimize sales programs. The Hotel’s website is its important marketing tool that helps the property to attract and retain elite guests from all over the World.
Mr. Nick Aristou, the property’s Executive Director, decided to enhance the website with an online business chat solution. “Our objective was to make it easy for our customers to navigate the website,” says Mr. Aristou. “Also, we wanted to convert as many visitors into customers as possible by making it easy for them to complete bookings.”
Mr. Aristou, who has a strong technology background, did a thorough review of available products, including such market leaders as LivePerson. However, none of them matched Four Season’s specific needs. The main limitations were the lack of multilingual support, patchy compatibility with tablet users and absence of robust archival features.
Then Mr. Aristou came across LiveWebAssist, a chat solution deployed on the IceWarp site, and realized it was the perfect match. He decided to try it out on the Four Season’s site, but then found out it was not the final release yet. Still, Mr. Aristou went ahead and launched LiveWebAssist at Four Seasons’ webpage, assigning three operators to interact with customers.
From the very beginning, the Four Season’s customer service team was making the most of LiveWebAssist’s multilingual interface and Knowledgebase support features to interact with customers in English, Greek and Russian.. The property’s sales and marketing team started to see LiveWebAssist’s effect almost immediately – the bookings increased.
“LiveWebAssist contributed a lot to this on many occasions,” says Mr. Aristou. “Our analysis showed that customers booked because they were given real-time explanations through the chat service.”
Four Season’s technology team also liked LiveWebAssist’s capability to recognize returning Website visitors.
“The excellent feature helps an operator to resume the conversation from the same spot where it was ended or interrupted,” says Mr. Aristou. “That makes users spend on average 7-8 minutes on the site, a very high indicator.”
In an approach radically different form other chat products, LiveWebAsisst supports the InLine no-flash chat architecture, eliminating pop-up windows. This design allows more visitors to initiate chat sessions, because they don’t have to deal with popup blockers and assures usability for visitors from tablets like iPad or Android.
Additionally, this option gives actionable information about the visitors’ behavior.
“The operators can tell exactly where the user is on the site, so they can offer them immediate assistance, tell them where to go and answer questions with a high degree of relevancy,” says Mr. Aristou. “It’s a very useful feature.”
LiveWebAssist’s analytical capabilities helped the hotel to optimize its Internet marketing strategy.
“LiveWebAssist analytics capabilities are very good,” notes Mr. Aristou. “They are helping us to locate sources our customers are coming from. It’s a very effective tool, especially when used in conjunction with Google analytics.”
Another feature Four Seasons’ team found practical is LiveWebAssist Knowledgebase. At any point of the conversation, it allows to insert pre-approved messages (such as terms and conditions, cancellation policy, etc.) as well as URLs and graphics with a single click.
“It has been very useful, we have almost three pages of knowledgebase content now,” notes Mr. Aristou. “The option provides more professional outlook and helps to standardize responses. Operators don’t have to think about how to phrase them. In the near future, we are planning to extend the knowledgebase with images and, possibly, videos.”
According to Four Seasons’ technology team estimates, the training and ramp-up process was painless.
“The functionality of the program is simple, anybody who can use a social chat program can get accustomed to LiveWebAssist very easily,” notes Mr. Aristou.
For the support function, Four Seasons team used LiveWebAssist Direct Chat Technology, the VIP connection that gives dedicated access to key IceWarp support personnel. This option makes it possible to reach the important contacts no matter where they are – at their desktop, off-site, or on the road.
“The VIP link option has been very useful, and IceWarp support team was very prompt,” says Mr. Aristou.
Four Seasons is now planning to expand LiveWebAssist functionality.
“We are considered using it on mobile devices, and, possibly, integrating the solution with a new CRM system,” says Mr. Aristou.
In the future, the property is thinking about hiring more operators and starting to use LiveWebAssist automated translation functionality.
According to Mr. Aristou’s estimates, LiveWebAssist was showing compelling ROI from the day it was implemented.
“Just from my own observation, from the number of bookings that have been converted directly through LiveWebAssist, I can say that it has paid for itself almost immediately” says Mr. Aristou he would definitely recommend LiveWebAssist to other organizations in the hospitality industry.
“Selling hotel rooms is always a complex matter,” says Mr. Aristou. “Usually, hotel bookings for five+ star hotels are a very high-value item. It’s not a $10-20 purchase from Amazon. They are usually $5,000-6,000 per transactionand there are many issues for potential customers to understand before they actually commit to book. Anything that can give a customer greater confidence and prompt him to make a decision to buy is very valuable. LiveWebAssist gives us exactly that.”
Commonwealth ombudsman Colin Neave says treating every complaint from the public as if it could represent a systemic issue is one area the private sector has the edge on government agencies.
Neave, who has concluded his investigation of complaints handling in government agencies, told The Mandarin, that public sector complaints handling has improved but can still be rote, officious and invisible to leadership. He said if an agency's complaints are down, it might mean there are fewer issues, or invaluable public feedback about systemic problems just isn't getting through.
"I think a secretary of a department should get reports about complaints," Neave said. "The same way I know in the banking sector, a lot of chief executives in banks get reports about what people are saying about them." He said complaint handling is a very important part of getting feedback on the way you're doing business. "You may need to refine the way you're doing business based on the feedback you're getting from in effect your customers. Complaints should be valued, they should be looked at very carefully."
China Banking Corp. has opened its newly-completed 17-story BPO facility in Cebu Business Park.
The China Bank Corporate Center, accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), caters to BPO and is adjacent to the 1,780-square meter China Bank Cebu Business Center which opened in 2009. China Bank chairman Hans Sy said the corporate center will be a premier office location providing first-rate work environment for BPO companies.
"It is now ready for occupancy and we welcome tenants looking at taking their businesses to new heights," Sy said in a statement. "Cebu is home to China Bank's first ever provincial branch, Cebu-Magallanes, opened in 1948. Now, it has a branch network of 23 China Bank, two China Bank Savings, and three Plantersbank branches serving the banking needs of the residents and entrepreneurs of Cebu and contributing to the vitality of the local economy," he added.
Sydney, January 20, 2015 – Datacom, one of Australasia's largest independent business technology solutions providers, and contact centre software company, Interactive Intelligence Group (Nasdaq: ININ), have announced a strategic partnership that will bring the best infrastructure, experience and tools available to contact centres across Australia and New Zealand.
The partnership combines Datacom Connect's experience in offering flexible and proven cloud-based infrastructure and contact centre solutions with Interactive Intelligence's Customer Interaction Center (CIC) to bring a rich, resilient and scalable contact centre solution to their customers.
CIC is a single, fully integrated software solution for contact centres that can be deployed via the cloud or on-premise and provides multichannel contact centre, unified communications, and business process automation functionality. Its applications include multichannel routing and queuing, interactive voice response, call and screen recording, predictive dialling, workforce management, real-time speech analytics and customer feedback management.
The partnership enables Datacom to extend the provision of sales, service and support across New Zealand and Australia for the entire range of Interactive Intelligence communications solutions. Datacom can also offer Interactive Intelligence's contact centre, unified communications and business process automation functionality to organisations of all sizes.
"Our Contact Centre as a Service solution utilises leading technology and infrastructure from Interactive Intelligence, housed in Datacom's and Interactive Intelligence's data centres," says Kirsty Hunter, Managing Director of Datacom Connect. "At Datacom we're led by the desire to provide exceptional customer experiences and outcomes, underpinned by a service that leverages our experience and that of our partners."
Datacom was selected by Interactive Intelligence as a new Interactive Intelligence Elite channel partner due to its in-depth IT services offering, industry-leading skills competence and the opportunity it offers Interactive Intelligence to extend its reach in the market.
"We are delighted to be working with Datacom throughout Australia and New Zealand. This new relationship will enable Interactive Intelligence to satisfy demand and support deployment for our cloud-based communications solutions while opening up major new business opportunities for both ourselves and Datacom in both public and private sector organisations," said Brendan Maree, Vice President Australia, New Zealand and Japan, Interactive Intelligence. By working with Datacom, we have teamed with an organisation which inherently understands the value and rapid return on investment which our solutions provide in cloud-based contact centre communications."
Interactive Intelligence supports its partners in Australia and New Zealand with dedicated channel management, pre-sales, marketing, professional services and post-sales customer support.